When you go on vacation, you think about things you’d like to see, activities you’d like to try and places where you’d like to eat. For me, it’s natural to also look for places to drop in. It’s not about having something to write about. It’s part of the adventure. I love to meet athletes in the CrossFit community and learn about the coach’s/owner’s stories as well.
When I went with my family to Key West this past July I was really excited to go to CrossFit Mile Zero. This is a well-reviewed place and, hey, it’s Key West! I was really hoping it would have that Key West vibe.
It was a short Uber ride from our hotel near Duval St. My wife and I got there early; almost 30 minutes before our class time (don’t ask why because I just don’t know). When we arrived, there was a class going on so we hung outside for a little bit so we didn’t interrupt. Coach/owner, Jeff popped out and said we don’t have to wait outside and welcomed us in.
I decided to stay outside for a few minutes and walk around the back. I discovered an interesting outdoor area that they have. More on that when I talk about the facility. I eventually went in and my wife was already chatting with Jeff. By then my friend Justin, who crossed paths with us on this vacation, showed up. Justin is an excellent athlete and coach in his own right, but I was especially happy to have him join us because getting him to drop in while on vacation is kind of like trying to spot a unicorn.
Time to share some details. You know the scale; 1-5 barbells. Here we go!
As I had been hoping to get to Key West for a while, (and was sitting at home during the pandemic with nowhere to go) I had time to become pretty familiar with the web site. There’s a nice big “DROP IN” button that always stays at the top of the page. You really can’t be much more drop-in friendly than that.
The site has details on the coaches, including their certifications, the schedules, WOD for the next day and rates. It’s quite simple and straight-forward.
As far as communication, I submitted an inquiry through their contact form on the site and Jeff responded to me promptly. I asked about any advanced info I could get on the workout so I knew what gear to pack. Although he wasn’t able to give me the exact workout, he gave me enough of an idea so I knew what I needed.
There’s really not much to report here, which is want you want in this category. My wife checked out the restroom and said it was fine. Equipment got wiped down by athletes after class was over. I did notice some chalk on a few of the bars sitting in the racks but the floors were clean and so were the rigs.
This is an interesting facility. It was formerly a post office. I’d say it’s medium/large-size (there’s no real scale to go by). There’s a large main room with a two rigs on opposite walls. Beyond the main workout area, you’ll find several little rooms here and there. There’s a warmup area in the front that may have been a former office. A short hallway off to the side with barbell racks mounted on the walls leads to a small room where they keep their swag (more on that soon). There’s another area in the far back that looks like it was the loading dock in a former life with some stand-alone racks, a bike and a bunch of plates.
And then there’s the outdoor area with mats and pullup brackets. Although I didn’t use it, I liked it. It seemed like you could hold a medium-sized class out there and have plenty of space. Maybe not the best in July after the sun comes up.
For equipment, there’s loads of bars, weights, at least 8 bikes and about the same number of rowers. I couldn’t see anything was really missing. Everything is in good condition.
The strength portion of the workout was a 7x3 back squat or front squat for 3 sets at 75%. I elected to do back squat, as did my wife. Justin went with front squats.
The metcon was 8 rounds for time of 5 burpee box jumps/step ups (20/24) and 10 DB hang snatches (35/45) with a 30 second rest in between rounds.
This was a really good vacation workout. It wasn’t too heavy, nor was it “soul-crushing”. It was perfect to keep us moving and worked off some of that vacation food. In looking at their historical workouts, they change things up plenty so there’s no guarantee you’ll get a similar workout but that’s really what CrossFit is – variety.
Jeff did an excellent job of explaining the workout and getting us warmed up. He demonstrated knowledge of form and movement. He checked on everyone throughout the class to be sure they were all set. I received several visits from Jeff while I was working on my back squat. He was encouraging to all during the workout.
In several ways, the culture was an extension of the coaching. Jeff is the owner, so it makes sense. Jeff made it easy to feel comfortable. When he introduced us to the class he had us tell everyone one thing about us. I was blanking so I did something I never do. I said “have a blog where I review all the CrossFits I drop in to all over the country”, which prompted Jeff to instruct his members to be “really nice" to me. Honestly, I don’t think it would have made a difference. I knew CrossFit Mile Zero had the vibe I was looking for before I said anything.
The members were very nice. Everyone said hello. My wife shared a space on the rig for the strength portion of the workout with one of the members who was gracious and friendly . A few members chatted with us and most of them gave post-workout congrats.
After the workout, Jeff spent some time to talk with us and sent us a list of places to see and things to do while in the keys. There was an excellent overall feeling of welcome here and if you’re the type of person that’s a little bit hesitant because of feeling out of place, this is a really good place to go.
Drop In Cost and SWAG
The drop-in fee was the standard $20. They also have a $60 weekly drop-in rate, which is pretty good if you’re in town for a while. The shirts were also $20. They had plenty of variety, which you don’t always see. That little room at the end of the hallway had a big set of shelves that were pretty stocked. There were ¾ sleeves, tee shirts and tanks. You should be able to find something in your size.
I was hoping to have a really good experience at CrossFit Mile Zero. Maybe because I worked it up in my own mind because of where it is and how long I was waiting to go there. The experience certainly met my expectations. What stands out to me was the overall feeling of welcome here and that’s huge to me. Big kudos to coach/owner Jeff for creating a great environment. My only regret is it’s not a place I can get to with any regularity. I will look back fondly.
CrossFit Mile Zero
3224 Flagler Avenue
Key West, FL 33040